There have been thousands and thousands of games developed since the late 1970s, when home gaming was first beginning. Very few titles spawned full-blown series that are still enjoyed today. Mario, Sonic, Pac-Man, and Mega Man are several of these notable games. Bomberman is another one of these titles whose legacy lives on in an innumerable amount of sequels.
Bomberman is for people who just want to blow stuff up. Well, not exactly, but that’s part of the main objective. But, “What do you blow up?” you ask. You have to blast randomly placed bricks out of the way to get to monsters that must be destroyed using your endless supply of bombs. Amongst those very bricks there will be your door to the next level; it’s up to you to find it. All of this must be done under 200 seconds throughout a total of 50 levels. Every once in a while you’ll get a fun little bonus level to rack up some points.
The bomb itself is very dynamic and becomes ungodly when you get the right power-ups. The levels in this game are designed so you can hide from the bombs’ explosions, which start at a one-square radius on all four sides, but can become larger with certain power-ups.
The power-ups are simple, but quickly become an integral part of the game. They have plenty of effects, like a larger blast radius, more bombs to place at once, detonator, faster walking, and even protection from your own bombs. One word of advice: try to save the detonator for the whole game; this lil’ baby makes it a lot easier. The first level in which you can find it is Level 3.
Bomberman plays as smoothly as any normal NES game. You don’t really have to worry about being awkwardly stuck in a situation unless you cause it yourself, like trapping yourself between a wall and a bomb. The control is well-balanced and easy to handle; it’s just a matter of mastering how to use them in the most efficient way. The A button does most of the work for you unless you have the detonator, so it’s less about knowing the right moves and more about making it to the end of the level in time without getting killed.
The graphics in Bomberman are simple and clean, but they have that average dull coloring like most NES games. Every enemy is distinct in design and ranks high on the cute factor; that’s why you must blow them up!! Mwuahahahahaha!! Ahem. Bomberman himself looks cool in-game as well, although he looks nothing like his image on the cartridge. I wouldn’t complain too much, since he looks better in the game itself.
I love the audio in this game. The songs are catchy, simple, and you can always find yourself humming them. The sound effects are also done well. The explosions and other various sounds are clean and have that warm quality similar to vintage music equipment. For the NES, the audio in Bomberman is near perfection.
Bomberman is a solid title for the NES. Although it doesn’t have the multiplayer mode like its later incarnations, it still offers a good time for anyone looking for some one-player action. Now go out and blow up some shit! (In the game, I mean.)